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Should white people have dreadlocks? Show more Show less
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Throughout history, dreadlocks have been significant to cultures around the globe. The matted and locked hairstyle was a way for people to prevent or slow positive energies from leaving the body. More recently, dreads have been an important aspect of Rastafarians and African-American culture in the United States. Yet, when white people try dreadlocks, there is often backlash and accusations of cultural appropriation. Should anyone be allowed to have dreads? Is it cultural appropriation for white people to have dreadlocks?

Yes, white people should be able to have dreadlocks Show more Show less

People should be able to express themselves how they want.
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Dreadlocks originated in numerous cultures

Since dreadlocks come from multiple cultures, one group of people cannot claim ownership.

The Argument

Before the development of modern technology, homo-sapiens let their hair naturally mat and lock, so it is difficult to pinpoint the first use of the hairstyle. Egyptians have been credited as the first culture to have dreadlocks since they have been discovered on mummies. Since then, others such as Romans, Greeks, Vikings, Indians, Christians, Germans, and Africans have also incorporated dreads into their cultures.[1] Traditionally, people have dreaded their hair to prevent energies from leaving their bodies, which they believed to come from a person's head. The tight knotting and matting will trap the energy so it stays with the person longer. Most commonly, dreadlocks are associated with Jamaican and Rastafarian culture. Ex-slaves used the hairstyle to revolt against European values that were being forced upon them. Rastafarians have dreads because of their belief from the Bible that hair gives people strength, and weakens them if cut.[2]

Counter arguments

Despite being from many cultures, dreadlocks are most connected to African and Rastafarian cultures. Those minority groups have also faced the most discrimination and prejudice because of their hair. White people should not have dreadlocks since they do not have ties to those cultures and do not face the same discrimination.



[P1] Dreadlocks have numerous origins. [P2] Therefore, white people should be able to have dreadlocks.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Although this was true in the past, dreadlocks are now associated primarily with African and Rastafarian cultures.


This page was last edited on Friday, 30 Oct 2020 at 14:39 UTC

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